The Best Gifts for Men
It's Gifts for Men Go Time. And by "Go Time" I mean "Buy. Buy! Buy! Time." Lucky for you, I know all the best gifts for the dudes, dads, sweeties, and sirs on your list, because I spend all year looking for loot you can buy on the internet.
And, more importantly, I am very, very greedy. The list below is really little more than my own holiday wish list, with a few items I already own and love with all of my heart, thrown in too.
So, seekers of that which will make you his favorite [fill it what you want to be his favorite of here] here are my picks for the Best Gifts for Men.
Note: Gifts are sorted by category and, within each category, listed by price from low to high. All items' prices are listed as they were at printing. Prices are subject to change.
Gifts for the Drinkers
Lolo Lids Covert Beer Koozies $16.50. Drink up on the down Lolo with this lid of subterfuge. Disguised as a to-go coffee lid, the Lolo fits over a can of beer, which then slides into most any large paper coffee cup to form a covert koozie. Sneaky, sneaky for festivals, airplanes, walking down the street, and sitting at his desk at work.
The Whiskey Wedge $18. Keeps spirits chilled without watering them down. Whiskey Wedge sets include a Double-Old Fashioned Whiskey Glass and a silicone mold. To use, add water to the glass, insert the mold, and then freeze the ice into a glacier-esque wedge. The resultant reduced surface area will slow down its melting process and, presumably, improve the overall experience of on the rocks consumption.
Fuego Box Craft Hot Sauce Club. $30 to $180. I am a member of this club, and can attest its listing has not been mis-categorized - I could drink most of the hot sauces Fuego Box sends me each month. Filled exclusively with craft and small-batch releases, Fuego Box has traveled the world tasting heat, hot, and fire, and collecting some of the finer specimens they've found to bring back for you. And for your favorite dude. And for the tacos, BBQ, and pizza you'll both sauce up and sweat together over as you beg bystanders to crank the AC.
Oak Bottle Micro Infuser $60 to $90. The Oak Bottle is barrel aging for people who are pressed for time, poor planners, or simply of the Veruca Salt persuasion: Daddy, I want a bottle of whiskey custom-infused with complex oak-aged flavors, and I want it NOW! Developed by winemaker Joel Paglione, the Oak Bottle is a 100% American White Oak vessel that claims it can turn cheap or average-tasting wine, whiskey, and other spirits into an aged, vintage-tasting drink in 2 to 48 hours.
Bripe Coffee Brew Pipe $60. Sherlock Holmes approved. The Bripe is a nifty mashup of a coffee brewer and a pipe (and a less nifty mashup of the words "brewer" and "pipe.") You can use it both to percolate your grounds beans and then slurp up the resultant shot, making the Bripe a super portable purveyor fresh-brewed coffee you can take with you pretty much anywhere on earth.
Cannonball Beer Growler $70. A handmade piece on stoneware clay, featuring a mottled texture, weatherworn-cannonball glaze, and cam-lever top. It holds up to 1/2 gallon of brew and, with a low surface-area-to-volume ratio, fits better in the fridge or cooler than growlers with the same capacity.
Cooper Cooler 60-Second Beer Chiller $85. Mmm, there's nothing I love more than a nice warm beer. Except maybe a tetanus shot. The Cooper Cooler cools a 12-ounce can or bottle of beer from an ugly 77 degrees to an easy-drinking 43 in about a minute using an internal rotation mechanism and a constant spray of ice water. The Cooler can also suck the room temperature out of a full bottle of wine in 6 minutes.
OXX COFFEEBOXX $230. In addition to describing my own brute strength, the phrase "Strong as an ox" describes both the COFFEEBOXX's ability to produce a turbo-charging cup of caffeine, and its rugged, go-anywhere exterior. OXX has designed the single cup brewer to work in even the harshest environments with its:
- Impact-resistant shell
- Crush-proof core able to withstand a 1/4 ton load
- Water-resistant and dust-resistant protection
- Rust-resistant hardware and construction
- Watertight, spill-proof holding tank
Gifts for the Outdoorsmen & DIYers
686 Men's Tool Belt $45. Contains a built-in bottle opener on its buckle, along with Phillips and flathead screwdriver prongs, plus a wrench on its metal fastening bar. "Thus," 686 says, "eliminating the need to store a ratchet driver in your pocket." But creating the need to take your belt off and work with a large leather tail hanging from your hand every time a nice co-worker who just moved here from Alabama needs her desk drawer handle tightened. Note: 686 actually designed their Snow Tool Belt for snowboarders who may need to tighten their bindings on the slopes, but most reviewers seem to have purchased one for alternative hobbies and applications.
Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter $80. Designed by a teenager in New Zealand looking for a way to make splitting firewood less likely to result in split body parts. Her method eliminates the biggest offender, the axe, from the equation altogether. The Kindling Cracker design is simple, a cast iron splitting head mounted inside a 12" cast iron frame. To split, place a piece of wood inside the iron safety ring and whack it with a blunt instrument--hammer, mallet, another piece of wood, take your pick. Kindling Crackers are all made in a New Zealand foundry. They weigh 10 pounds and stand 12" tall.
Granberg Chainsaw Mill $145. This Alaskan small log mill teams up with chainsaws with up to a 20" bar, bolting directly to them, no drilling required. The attachment can cut beams of lumber from 1/2" to 13" thick and 17" wide. Granberg recommends it for all woodworkers, carpenters, homeowners, and people forced to pick a flavor of grunt work to do on a Sunday afternoon.
Snow Joe Ultra Electric Snow Thrower $160. The Snow Joe Ultra says it can throw up to 650 pounds of snow per minute, clearing up to 2,450 square feet per hour! Someone who isn't me is sure going to have fun clearing off the driveway and entry walk and sidewalk in front of the house...and the neighbor who doesn't have a snow thrower's driveway and entry walk and sidewalk in front of the house...this winter!
Leatherman Tread Wearable Multi-Tool $164. This isn't the first year the Tread has made it onto one of my Best Gifts lists. Made of high-strength and corrosion-resistant 17-4 stainless steel, the Leatherman Tread consists of a series of links that snap together in a ring for the outdoorsman to don as a fashionable accessory when not needed, and unlatch as a fully functional multi-tool when things get loose, leaky, or (un)screwy. Each link is equipped with 2 to 3 tools, for a total of 25 usable features, such as box wrenches, screwdrivers, a cutting hook, hex drives, and a carbide glass breaker.
Tentsile Trillium Hammock $250. Take the Trillium hammock along for overnight camping in the summer, or just strap it to trees in the back yard or at the beach for a lazy day of being lazy under the sun. Its unique triangular shape can accommodate up to 3 grown ass men (as pictured), plus can be stacked up to 3 times underneath a Tentsile Stingray to create what will surely become the answer to the growing camping density problem: tent high-rises.
Gifts for the Sports Fans
Drive Stein - The Football Drinking Game Mug $20. The 16-ounce Drive Stein condenses a football field's hundred yards into a mockup printed on the front of the glass. Game participants can choose to play head-to-head, drinking only when their team gets a first down, or in Overdrive Mode, chugging yardage during every offensive drive.
Stanley Stein Hockey Beer Mug $59. I don't always watch hockey, but when I do...I prefer to do it drunk of my ass so I find it more entertaining. This beer mug incarnation of the Stanley Cup looks like a great way to achieve drunk off my ass with a quickness. The Stanley Stein holds 25 ounces of liquid pleasure within its lightweight, clear acrylic walls. Break-resistant clear acrylic walls for the times Red Wings fans and Blackhawks fans find themselves sharing a living room.
Bam Vino Wine & Liquor Bottle Holders $40 to $60. Even if a Bam Vino is wearing the cap of your favorite MLB team, it's OK to pray for a swing and a miss when the bat's your $300 bottle of Richebourg Grand Cru. Or, if you're not into wine, this baseball player bust of a bottle holder can assume the position with a similarly sized bottle of hard liquor, or even vinegar or olive oil.
NFL Football Teams' Greatest Plays Slate Coasters $50. These football plays will go down in history as their NFL teams' greatest, and the slate coasters they're printed on will go down on his table as a barrier between his fine oak and your sweaty can of Bud. The 4-deep coaster sets are team-specific, each laster-etched with a different moment from a past game that sent fans out of their gourd in ecstasy.
QB54 - Lawn Chair Football Game $115. An outdoor football game built around a pair of packable lawn chairs. Slip the QB54 seat covers off their back fame and replace them with the game's yellow goalposts. Pull the flaps forward to reveal to reveal your "touchdown baskets" (that, ironically, look like basketball nets) under the chairs' butt cradles. Then set up the chair goals facing one another about 40' apart. Cue Hank Williams Jr. Are you ready for some football?
Gifts for the Gamers
Keytendo Video Game Console Key Holder $30. Somewhere between way too much and not nearly enough geek lies the Keytendo, an NES-themed key holder, and your Goldilocks gift for the just-right-geekiest dude you know.
8Bitdo SN30 Pro Game Controller $50. 8Bitdo brings back the sexy purples and gray of the original SNES with their SN30 Pro Game Controller. Packed with wireless Bluetooth, Rumble vibration, motion controls, and USB-C, the new retro controller brings back a classic look that classic Nintendo Switch, Windows, Android, macOS, and Steam players are going to love.
Anki Overdrive: Fast & Furious Edition $130. Anki OVERDRIVE goes Fast & Furious with its Toretto-tinted edition, set to start shipping later this month. If you're not familiar with the Anki gaming family, meet virtual REAL-ality. A simple car racing game in fundamental nature, Anki OVERDRIVE aims to transport the best elements of on-screen speed competitions to a tangible track with tangible cars laid out on your living room floor.
Nintendo Switch $300, and Xbox One X 1TB Console $500. They may not be the most inspired, and definitely aren't the cheapest, gifts on this list but, let's face it: this year, they're what a dude wants.
Vanguard Personal Gaming Environment $350. GAEMS calls its Vanguard a "premier Personal Gaming Environment (PGE)" and I hope they're right because to me it just looks like a TV screen and some speakers built into a briefcase. To give them the benefit of the doubt, we'll go over the specifics. The Vanguard was designed for gamers on the go. Its protective hard case houses a 19" LED HD display, a pair of stereo speakers, two 3.5mm stereo headphone jacks, and a placeholder for your gaming console. The Vanguard is compatible with Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4, and GAEMS touts its latest PGE for both its immersive, fully portable gaming and DVD / streaming media experiences.
Gifts for the Distinguished Gentlemen
Zeke's Beard Wipes $8 to $15. For he with fountains o' facial hair, Zeke's has created these packs of Beard Wipes to get rid of the flakes, the stench, the grease, the sweat, and the double chocolate chip fudge cookies crumbs that aren't embedded in his follicles because he's saving them for later (this time....)
The Beard Bro Beard-Shaping Tool $10. Beard Bro instructions sound pretty simple: "Line it up. Shave over the edge. Perfect lines." It's symmetry, now brought to you by speed and simplicity. The comb-on-a-corner beard-shaping tool works with a razor or clippers, and presents several different shaping choices and styling options with the adjustments of the Beard Bro's curve angle and notch measurements.
The Godfather Safety Razor $37. A strange mixture of metaphors and global influences, the Godfather safety razor comes to us from Vikings Blade, an Australia-based men's grooming company with Swedish heritage and influences. It's a shaving utensil based on the tradition of a heavy duty head and feel, with a microcomb system along the edges to help prevent nicks. Vikings Blade razors are handcrafted from imported Swedish materials--brass and bronze alloys--and coated with chrome glossed to supershine. The company emphasizes the razors are not made from pot metals or zamak.
Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds, 1953-2016 $51. Playboy originally published a Complete Centerfolds hardcover in 2007, but this latest edition has been updated to add the last 10 years of voluptuous playmates, plus, er, flesh out their photographs with new narratives and a redesigned package. I guess when Hef's son decided to bring the nudie sexy back to current issues of the magazine, he figured this centerfolds collection would be good way to remind dudes what's always made Playboy so great.
Bomber Jacket Leather Swivel Cocoon Chair $319. Styled after a retro lounger, featuring integrated curved arms, a swivel seat, and adjustable flood glides. The soft "Bomber Jacket" leather upholstery is also available in 6 other non-outerwear-themed colors, including black, ivory, chocolate brown, silver, copper, and - yikes, a visually assaulting red.
Sovaro Luxury Coolers $500 to $800. The haute cool-ture (you're welcome, Karl Lagerfeld) of BBQs and days at the beach. But these snazzy black and white coolers aren't deemed a luxury brand just for their sexy cork-lined interiors and chrome and gold trim. Sovaro says you'll see the grandeur in their performance too.
The Beast Duffel Bag $1,000. What makes a duffel bag a beast? Bigness. Ruggedness. Resilience. What makes a duffel bag The Beast? According to Saddleback Leather, all of the above, plus a 100-year warranty (yes, that's one hundred), a mere 3 seams binding 4 slabs of full-grain leather (no top grain or bonded hides here), pigskin lining, and room to transport large African bongo drums. I didn't even make that last bit up. Also, I don't think it's a joke. If The Beast says its interior volume is spacious enough to accommodate the rhythmic emblem of Africa, I bet The Beast is F'ing serious.
Gifts for (Dudes Who Just Wanna Have) Fun
A Die Hard Christmas: The Illustrated Holiday Classic $12. Written by Doogie Horner in the brilliant poetic style of "The Night Before Christmas", and illustrated by JJ Harrison in the bloody poetic style of the machine gun- and German terrorist-laden Hollywood action flick, A Die Hard Christmas follows McClane's heroic efforts to save a group of hostages taken at his estranged wife's Christmas party. And also win back his estranged wife, and get them both home in time for Santa.
The Skull Ultra Loud Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker $38. Your alarm clock with the soft hands and sweet voice telling you she made extra fluffy flapjacks for breakfast this morning? Ha! That was Mila Kunis and she was cooing to you in your dreams, suckah! The Sonic Alert Skull Alarm Clock sings Wakey, wakey to the tune of an extra-loud buzzer comparable to the noise level of a chainsaw. A bonus vibrating accessory slips under the pillow to add some unpleasant tactile stimulation to the rise 'n' shine process.
Shomer-Tec Titanium Escape Ring $63. Next time, he'll be able to get out of the handcuffs that chick from the hotel bar left him in after she Roofied him and stole his wallet. The ring is cut from solid titanium bar stock and polished to a gleaming silver finish. Still, it's pretty unremarkable. On the outside. But a channel circling the piece's interior houses a flexible saw and handcuff shim pick combo tool, able to open single-locked handcuffs, plus gnaw through zip-ties, disposable cuffs, duct tape, rope, and any other non-metallic materials that might sit at the center of his predicament.
Skull Gas Fireplace Logs $70 to $310. Fear not, friends who fear a lot. These are not real human skull logs. In fact, they're not even real logs. They're reinforced steel coated with lava granules and fireproof ceramic (the same material NASA tests rocket engines on) and they're intended for use in natural gas or liquid propane fireplaces and outdoor fire pits. Skulls are sold individually, or in sets of 3 and 5, plus in a few different colors and styles.
Mighty Spotify Player $86. The Mighty music player will pump your Spotify playlists on the run. Really, when you're running. Also when you're on the bike. On the yoga mat. On the slopes. On the trail. On the bench press. Anywhere you want to stream your music without feeling the heft, pull, and clunkiness of your phone. Or without your phone feeling the sweat, jostling, and emphatic thrusts of its owner on the move. You don't need an internet connection with this tiny but Mighty machine either.
Marshall Stockwell Portable Bluetooth Speaker $175. Naturally, Marshall gets all the style points for its portable Bluetooth speakers. Not that it was a hard task to model their little rectangular box music players after their big rectangular box music amplifiers, but the iconic vintage look still integrates beautifully with today's mobile and Bluetooth tech. The Stockwell shown here is Marshall's smallest travel speaker, and the company says it stays true to its roots by also being the loudest in its class.
Star Wars Return of the Jedi Wall Clock $200. The only thing missing from this Return of the Jedi wall clock is an R2-D2 head that pops out on the hour to go, Bee-boo-boop-coo-koo! Otherwise, it's all there. Electroluminescent lightsabers and LED glow from within: check. Star Wars theme song fired up for a full 45 seconds every time the long hand hits the 12: check. Tackiest, most obnoxious, yet also most awesome and beloved gift you could give a man: Cheee-eck!